Benjamin Franklin Quotes
Here are quotes by one of America's greatest founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, and related quotations about America's founding. For more history, see Founding Fathers.
A dying man can do nothing easy.
Benjamin Franklin, after his daughter asked him to move, April 17, 1790
A fine genius in his own country is like gold in the mine.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733
A penny saved is twopence clear.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1737
A Spoonful of Honey will catch more Flies than a Gallon of Vinegar.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1748
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?"
Benjamin Franklin, To Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention
All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783
And as to the Cares, they are chiefly what attend the bringing up of Children; and I would ask any Man who has experienced it, if they are not the most delightful Cares in the World; and if from that Particular alone, he does not find the Bliss of a double State much greater, instead of being less than he expected.
Benjamin Franklin, Reply to a Piece of Advice, March 4, 1734/5
Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to John Alleyne, August 9, 1768
But they have two other Rights; those of sitting when they please, and as long as they please, in which methinks they have the advantage of your Parliament; for they cannot be dissolved by the Breath of a Minister, or sent packing as you were the other day, when it was your earnest desire to have remained longer together.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to William Straham, August 19, 1784
Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Benjamin Franklin, Advice to a Young Tradesman, 1748
Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry.
Benjamin Franklin, Positions to be Examined, April 4, 1769
Have you something to do to-morrow; do it to-day.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1742
Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richards Almanack, 1749
He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.
Benjamin Franklin, from his writings, 1758
Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1735
History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly
History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy... These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened.
Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, Circa 1774
History will also give Occasion to expatiate on the Advantage of Civil Orders and Constitutions, how Men and their Properties are protected by joining in Societies and establishing Government; their Industry encouraged and rewarded, Arts invented, and Life made more comfortable: The Advantages of Liberty, Mischiefs of Licentiousness, Benefits arising from good Laws and a due Execution of Justice, etc. Thus may the first Principles of sound Politicks be fix'd in the Minds of Youth.
Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania, 1749
How many observe Christ's birth-day! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1743
More Benjamin Franklin